Renault will be in F1 for a ‘very long’ time

Date published: May 25 2020

Renault DP World PA

Cyril Abiteboul has once again rubbished suggestions that Renault could quit F1, saying last week’s new deal works for the Enstone team.

With Renault facing cuts of $2.2b, reports in the French press claimed that the manufacturer could pull out of Formula 1 to reduce costs.

That, it was implied, may have been why Daniel Ricciardo opted to jump ship to McLaren.

Abiteboul has denied that Renault is even considering walking away from F1.

“We’ve been in Formula 1 since the ’70s,” the managing director told Motorsport.com.

“We’ve been loyal to Formula 1 and clearly as we look forward I think it’s important to stay true to your roots, to where you’re coming from, to your history, not just because of loyalty but also because it means something in the narrative that you can appeal to today’s and tomorrow’s customers.

“Motorsport has a unique value and contribution into it. That’s why we believe in it, just like we believe in a number of marketing activities, except that it’s sport, except that it’s been a core of technology.

“That’s racing, that’s emotion also, and Renault stands for emotion. So all of that means a lot. And that’s why we’ve been in this for a decades and we intend to do so for very long.

“You want to have a clear narrative as to why a consumer should be interested in your brand and your product, rather than others. And I think what you have in your DNA, in your history and your legacy counts to a certain degree much more than anything else.”

The prospect of Renault remaining in Formula 1 long term was boosted last week with news of a new deal.

The Formula 1 teams voted in favour of reducing the 2021 budget cap to $145 million with further cuts over the following two years.

Added to that they also agreed a sliding scale for R&D, aimed at levelling the playing field by taking research and development time away from the teams at the front of the grid.

Abiteboul applauded F1’s actions.

“It’s a major crisis, so it’s difficult to assume now what will be really the (global economic) effect,” he added.

“But all the things that are happening: better money distribution from prize fund, lower budget cap… much lower than it was and we’ve been pushing for years for this type of figures, so frankly.. will probably be very good for us. Very close to the level at which we’ve been operating.

“It’s a much better business model in my opinion. If the condition was good enough for a number of manufacturers to join the sport in the past, they will be even better tomorrow.

“We’ve been able to push for containing the crazy development race on the engine, and it’s really insane what we’ve been spending on the engine, and finally that’s going to change.

“Our voice has finally been heard as maybe a voice that is representing common sense.

“All of that is pointing in the right direction for those who are already in the sport, I have a firm belief into that.”

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